My District has always been recognized as one of the most Veteran Friendly areas in the Country. Danville has won the distinction of Most Veteran Friendly City several times. Rantoul has a great military tradition being the home to Chanute Air Force Base. Men and Women from all over the 104th have served their Country and sacrificed a great deal. I’m proud to represent an area that truly values the service of the Men and Women of our Armed Forces. Therefore, I was truly honored to attend the formal induction ceremony for a friend of mine, Brad Gould, as the Commander of the Department of Illinois Veterans of Foreign Wars in Bloomington last Saturday night.
Brad is a Veteran of the United States Air Force, a resident of Rantoul, and has been a strong advocate for Veterans. He has worked tirelessly for years to help his fellow Veterans and will do an outstanding job leading the VFW in Illinois this year. It was a proud moment for me to be present and offer a Resolution of Congratulations from the Illinois General Assembly.
On Monday, I participated in a Legislative Panel at the State Employee Retirement Conference in Champaign. It was an excellent opportunity to discuss my views on what the future holds, addressing the unfunded pension liability and receive vital input from the people who will be most affected by the health of the pension system.
The 104th District happens to be the home of many current and retired State employees, from the prison in Danville to employees of the University of Illinois, Parkland, and Danville Area Community College. It was a good discussion and I reiterated my stance on making sure we prioritize making the pension payments, avoiding the past mistakes that have gotten us in the current situation and doing things to ensure the sustainability of the systems for workers who have made many life decisions based on the agreement the State made with them when they started their careers.
Traveling the District and talking to constituents never gets old and the balance of my week was spent doing just that. I am always able to discover new things about the District, from doing things like touring the Resource Center of Northern Champaign County, or speaking with the area Labor Management Council at DACC. I’m happy being here spending time with the people of the 104th. Please continue the phone calls and emails. Your input is very helpful. Together we are making a difference for this District.